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Japan game giant Nexon focuses on the west and plots western expansion

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Japan game giant Nexon focuses on the west and plots western expansion

The Japanese creator of one of the longest-running role-playing titles, whose most famous video game has drawn in almost a billion enlisted clients, is preparing for global expansion and focusing on the West.

Nexon Co Ltd – generally secret external Asia – is one of the world’s 10 biggest computer game companies by market capitalization; its US$22 billion valuation is bigger than Take-Two Interactive, the company behind Grand Theft Auto, or Roblox.

Last year it finished the securing of Stockholm-based Embark Studios, whose founder led the development of the hit Battlefield establishment. In 2022 it contributed US$400 million for a minority stake in AGBO, the free studio established by Anthony and Joe Russo, the imaginative pair who directed Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War.

“The idea overall with that is to combine what we’re really good at – making a virtual world last and grow forever – with what they’re really good at,” Nexon’s chief executive, Owen Mahoney, told Reuters.

Nexon is working with AGBO to investigate ways of stretching out its game franchises to film or television and foster virtual worlds or video games motivated by AGBO’s movies.

“Our vision, which aligns well with Nexon’s, recognizes that audiences have come to expect real immersion in the IP they care most about,” said AGBO CEO Jason Bergsman.

The two companies are in early discussions on adjusting Nexon establishments, for example, MapleStory and Dungeon and Fighter, which have rich legends and passionate fan bases. These discussions are still in the primer stages, alerts one source with direct information on the circumstance.

They are likewise discussing a game or virtual world propelled by Battle of the Planets, an iconic Japanese anime show from the 1970s that AGBO is creating as a feature film.

Mahoney desires to use Nexon’s involvement with working “live games” – refreshing titles while they are running – to launch large big-budget titles with a Western sensibility, for example, the allowed-to-play shooter game ARC Raiders, from Embark Studios.

Embark’s founder, Patrick Soderlund, once led Dice, the company that developed the “Battlefield” establishment and was gained by Electronic Arts when Mahoney was head of consolidations and acquisitions there.

VIRTUAL WORLD PIONEER

Nexon has steadily kept away from the furor around the “metaverse” that has held tech goliaths Microsoft and Facebook.

“Nobody can define it and most importantly they can’t define why it’s so darn great,” Mahoney said. “It’s a big nothing burger.”

Nexon was an early adopter of features that have become normal in the industry remembering for game virtual monetary standards and the free-to-play business model.

These features were carried out in games, for example, Nexon’s KartRider hustling game, which has been running for right around two decades – one of what the company refers to as “forever franchises”.

Its most famous establishment, the arcade-style battling game Dungeon, and Fighter acquired more than US$20 billion beginning around 2005 – more than the combined box office proceeds of the Star Wars or Harry Potter film establishments.

One major new challenge as a part of Nexon’s development will generate gets back from higher-budget Western games.

“Nexon does not have much of a track record in operating photorealistic games for hardcore gamers,” Citigroup analysts wrote in March, initiating coverage of the stock at “neutral”.

Nexon needs to control the expense of creating titles in a time when budgets top US$100 million. For example, it utilizes machine learning technology to animate some character actions instead of relying on workers.

“I don’t really care what happens in the first one or two quarters,” Mahoney said. “What I care about is what happens from years two to 20.”

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